Guidelines & Suggestions For Meetings
The Following Lists are also culled from some other 12 step programs such as EA (Emotions Anonymous), Al-Anon, & OA Overeaters Anonymous. They are all important reminders & traditions in our OCA Program.
The FIRST TRADITION OF Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous states: "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on OCA unity and harmony."
The SECOND HELPFUL SUGGESTION of OCA states: "This is a WE program--" WE all work together and "recover together".
1. We come to OCA to learn how to live a new way of life through the twelve-step program of Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous which consists of Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, the Serenity Prayer, slogans, OCA literature, weekly meetings, telephone and personal contacts, and living the program one day at a time. It is the Program that brings recovery, not any individual member. We do not come for another person — we come to help ourselves and to share our experiences, strength, and hope with others. If we come or not come because of another person, we are not putting our recovery first. What anyone else may do or not do does not have to affect our ability to help ourselves. You may not like all of us, but you will come to love us, as we love you (From Alanon) as we watch each other struggle and grow and recover in the Program.
2. We are experts only on our own stories, how we try to live the program, how the program works for us, and what OCA has done for us. Please say I or ME instead of you or we (from OA). No one speaks for Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous as a whole. We are all here to recover; we are not there yet. Please accept us with our defects and problems, as we accept you. If you hear something that you do not like, leave it behind when you go home. Only take what you like. We have enough to obsess about without obsessing about what happened at a meeting.
3. We respect anonymity -- no questions are asked. We avoid cross conversation and feedback which can disrupt the unity
of the group and create disharmony. Questions, cross talk and feedback can make people feel unsafe to share. We aim for an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Acceptance allows us to move forward and work the Twelve Steps. We do not care who you are or what you have done. You are welcome.
4. We do not judge; we do not criticize; we do not argue. We do not give advice regarding personal or family affairs. We are not professionals in this area. We let each person decide for him- or herself how to work his or her own program.
5. "OCA is not a place to endlessly discuss our obsessions and compulsions" (THIRD HELPFUL SUGGESTION of OCA), but a way to learn to heal from them. Please remember to share the positives, too--your victories, strength and hope for the future. If people go home after only hearing about our problems, they might feel worse off than before they came. Part of our serenity comes from being able to live at peace with unsolved problems.
6. We never discuss religion, politics, national or international issues, or other belief systems or policies. OCA has no opinion on outside issues.
7. Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous is a spiritual program, not a religious program. We do not advocate any particular belief system.
8. The steps suggest a belief in a Power greater than ourselves. This can be human love, a force for good, the group, nature, the universe, God, or any entity a member chooses as a personal Higher Power.
9. "We utilize the program -- not analyze it" (FIRST HELPFUL SUGGESTION of OCA). Understanding comes with experience. Each day we apply some part of the program to our personal lives.
10. "We have found it helpful not to evaluate anyone's illness or recovery" (SEVENTH HELPFUL SUGGESTION of OCA). We identify with others, but we do not compare. Comparing leads to feelings of inferiority of superiority, either of which can exacerbate our illness. We may have different symptoms, but the underlying processes are the same or similar. We discover we are not unique in our obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
11. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinions and may express them at a meeting within the guidelines of OCA. We are
all equal -- no one is more important than another.
12. Part of the beauty and wonder of the OCA program is that at meetings we can say anything and know it stays there. Anything we hear at a meeting, on the telephone, or from another member is confidential and is not to be repeated to anyone -- OCA members, mates, families, relatives or friends. As the TWELFTH TRADITION of OCA states: "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to put principles before personalities."